Common Stargazer

common stargazer
© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Season: Open all year

bag limit5


possession limit10


boat limit-

Guide to symbols

bagBag Limit
housePossession Limit
boatBoat Limit

Minimum size


Most scalefish are measured from the nose to the end of the tail. Get your scalefish measuring ruler or sticker at any Service Tasmania outlet.

Other names

stargazer, monkfish, southern stargazer

Scientific name

Kathetostoma laeve

Grows to

Up to


Identifying features

​Stargazers are not the prettiest fish in the sea. They have eyes located on the top of their large, a squarish head and a wide, upturned mouth filled with fine teeth along backward pointing jaws designed not to allow prey to escape. Common stargazers are grey-brown across the back and white underneath. They have no scales, two large black bands across their back and large pectoral fins with white margins.


Found in inshore waters right around Tasmania in depths up to 60 metres, including estuaries and bays. They are rarely seen by divers due to their habit of burying themselves in the sand waiting to ambush any edible fish that comes by. Found mostly over sand and seagrass meadows.

Fishing information

Can be caught on rod and line using whole fish baits and soft plastic lures when fishing off beaches. Occasionally caught in gillnets. They eat fish and other food items that are nearly as big as themselves, providing it can fit in their mouths.


Stargazers have two poisonous spines located at the top and back of their gill covers and a powerful set of jaws with raked back teeth, so keep hands away from the head area.


These fish are good eating producing two large, round, white boneless fillets. The flesh is firm with a mild flavour so is good used in curries, stews and soups.


Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

0427 655 557

What to report? arrow button

Contact us

Recreational Fishing

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

Hobart TAS 7000

Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647


Commercial Fisheries

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550


Commercial Fisheries Licensing

Level 1, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550